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HomeSportsSoccerCanada goalless vs. Guatemala, settling for 2nd straight draw in Gold Cup...

Canada goalless vs. Guatemala, settling for 2nd straight draw in Gold Cup group play

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Canada battled to a 0-0 draw against Guatemala Saturday night, a result that left the national men’s soccer team with its back against the wall in CONCACAF Gold Cup play in Houston.

Canada went into the match hoping for a win to boost their chances of advancing out of Group D play but were outplayed by Guatemala for long stretches.

Canada pressed in the game’s late stages.

Forward Jacob Shaffelburg had a chance in the 75th minute but couldn’t get a clean shot away allowing goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen to make the save. Zac McGraw had a chance on the same sequence but put the ball over the net.

A few minutes later centre back Steven Vitoria blasted a shot that Hagen stopped.

Guadeloupe and Guatemala led Group D with four points from a win and a draw.

Canada has two points from the two draws.

Must-win game vs. Cuba next

Canada, ranked 47th in the world, faces No. 165-ranked Cuba Tuesday in Houston in a must-win game.

The game was played before a vocal, pro-Guatemala crowd in 34 Celsius heat and 65 per cent humidity at Shell Energy Stadium.

Canada was booed by a hometown crowd in Toronto when they opened Group D play with a 2-2 draw against Guadeloupe Tuesday. Guatemala defeated Cuba 1-0 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in its first game of the tournament.

Guadeloupe defeated Cuba 4-1 earlier Saturday.

Guatemala, ranked 116th in the world, came close in the opening minutes of the second half. A sliding Carlos Mejia had an open net but the midfielder just missed connecting with the ball.

Canada’s best scoring chance of the opening half came in the 29th minute. Lucas Cavallini headed a ball to forward Junior Hoilett who twisted and fired a shot that sailed over the net.

A Canadian giveaway allowed Guatemala to threaten in the 20th minute. Forward Nathaniel Mendez had a clear shot from the top of the box but goalkeeper Milan Borjan made the save.

Midfielder Liam Miller raised Canadian hopes with a hard shot from distance in the 23rd minute that Hagen scooped up.

Canada got lucky in the 33rd minute. Aaron Herrera sent a corner kick into the box and a defensive lapse left defender Jose Ardon all alone, but he failed to make contact with the ball.

A few minutes later Herrera just missed the top corner of the net on a free kick.

The 16-country tournament runs through July 16 across 15 stadiums in 14 cities.

Canada is missing some of its biggest names with Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Alistair Johnston, Atiba Hutchinson and Ismael Kone not playing.

WATCH l Canada’s men’s soccer team stunned by unranked Guadeloupe:

Canada settles for Gold Cup draw with Guadeloupe allowing late own goal

A late stoppage time own goal from Jacen Russell-Rowe allowed unranked Guadeloupe to draw Canada 2-2 in its CONCACAF Gold Cup opening game.

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